The King River cafe in Oxley (near Milawa, where Brown Brothers winery is) at the top end of the King Valley is a fine place for lunch. My girlfriend and I recently made it our first stop of a weekend spent visiting cellar doors to taste and buy some of the best examples of the region’s distinctive Italian and Spanish varietals.

Combining wine tasting and driving requires sensible precautions and restraint, and a solid lunch is essential. I ordered a rich slightly spiced cauliflower soup and my girlfriend chose the stack of rösti fingers with house sweet chilli chutney. These are so delicious!

kingriver1 lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

kingriver2 lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

My girlfriend then chose the duck with house fennel beetroot pickle and vegetables – carrot, zucchini and cauliflower. The combination of the duck with the fennel beetroot was magic. I chose what I called the ‘surf and trotter’ – pork belly with scallops and vegetables – carrot, zucchini and cabbage. This was fabulous. The plates were emptied with minimal conversation.

kingriver3 lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

kingriver4 lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

After two such substantial mains we dared only share a dessert – the ginger creme brûleée – which was also flavoured with cardamon. It was a light and refreshing end to a fantastic meal.

kingriver5 lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

With both mains under $30, the total of our meal (including a jar each of the fennel beetroot pickle and the sweet tomato chutney) came to exactly $100. This represents excellent value, and we were particularly impressed with the prominent use of their own condiments in the dishes.

If you’re heading north, Oxley is just before Wangaratta and the King River cafe is a lovely place to stop for lunch. Later in the weekend, as we chatted at cellar doors, we mentioned where we’d eaten and got a nod of approval from some of the winemakers, so the King River cafe seems to have a good reputation among the locals.

lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

10 thoughts on “lunch at the King River cafe, Oxley

  • 3 August 2010 at 11:00 am
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    Brian,

    I do worry about your cholesterol levels sometimes :)

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    • 3 August 2010 at 1:45 pm
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      Ah Davy you don’t see me blogging about all the green vegetables I eat at home!

      Reply
  • 3 August 2010 at 11:35 pm
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    Mmmmmmhhhhmmmm…tell it to the judge.

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  • 4 August 2010 at 1:47 pm
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    which wineries did you try? ( It is my favourite wine region)

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    • 4 August 2010 at 2:16 pm
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      Ciavarella Oxley Estate and John Gehrig in Oxley; La Cantina, Gracebrook, Avalon, Dal Zotto, Pizzini and Chrismont in the King Valley; then Delatite in Mansfield. We bought 5 cases between us and have had a couple already. The John Gehrig pinot meunier is outstanding, and the La Cantina barbera is delicious.

      Reply
  • 4 August 2010 at 3:55 pm
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    hadnt been to the oxley ones, will try next time . i am a fan of Dal zotto mostly – their Barbera and Rosato and then Pizzini – nebbiolo and sangiovese.

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  • 4 August 2010 at 6:18 pm
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    Having eaten there just once before I’d have to say I reckon this place is damn tasty also…

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  • 20 December 2010 at 5:15 pm
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    fantasic lemon tart great service, how could the age good food guide miss this place

    Reply

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